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Open Source CNC Toolpathing Workflow 



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Open Source CNC Toolpathing 

Workflow 

Written By: Chris Reilly 



f TOOLS: 

Computer running Linux (1) 



SUMMARY 

I'll demonstrate how to turn a raster image into a G-Code engraving pattern with GIMP, 
Inkscape, Pycam and EMC2 in Ubuntu Linux. The steps are covered in detail in this video: 

Open Source CNC Toolpathing Workflow. 



Step 1 — Open Source CNC Toolpathing Workflow 



• Install the necessary software: 

• Ubuntu Linux/EMC2 

• GIMP 

• Pycam 

• Inkscape 



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Open Source CNC Toolpathing Workflow 

Step 2 

• In GIMP, open an image. 

• Edit as you like, then apply a threshold (Colors->Threshold) to make a black-and-white 
only (not greyscale) image. 

• Save the image. 

Step 3 

• In Inkscape, create a new file that reflects the size of your CNC work area. 

• Import the image created in the previous step. 

• Use the Trace Bitmap function (Path->Trace Bitmap) to create a vector outline of the 
raster image. 

• Delete the imported raster image, leaving only the vector tracing. 

• Save the file as an .SVG 

Step 4 



• Open the SVG in Pycam. 

• Edit Pycam preferences: 

• Under General, set the units to inches. 

• Under Gcode, set the safety height to 1 inch. 

• Adjust the tool parameters for the default cylindrical tool. 

• Diameter = 0.125"; Feed Rate = 75 inches/minute (this may vary depending on your 
CNC) 

• Under Tasks, activate only the Gravure/Tracing task. Make these adjustments: 

• Tool = Cylindrical; Process = Gravure/Tracing 



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Open Source CNC Toolpathing Workflow 

Step 5 

• Generate the G-Code by clicking Generate Toolpath. 

• Under Toolpaths, export as an .ngc file. 

• Your G-Code is ready to run! 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-02 04:25:43 PM. 



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